Washington DC is known as the capital of the United States, but with it encompassing such a small area it often goes overlooked and is more commonly associated as being part of Virginia or Maryland. Being so close to the Federal government, most people are under the impression that gambling is frowned upon, but such is not really the case. There are plenty of gambling options for those who live in the District of Columbia, and those options seem to be on the verge of expanding.
Being such a small area, there are also plenty of gambling options in the surrounding areas as well. This means that those living in the DC region have plenty of options to play their favorite casino games.
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Legal Status of Online Casinos & Gambling — Washington DC
Currently, there are no local laws that make it illegal for residents of the District of Columbia to gamble online. Though there is no established intra-regional online casino network, there are hundreds of online casinos offering their services to Washington DC residents. In recent years, lawmakers who call the District home have been pushing to legalized online casino play in order to bring in some extra revenue.
At this current juncture, the online casinos existing and available to Washington DC residents are all based and headquartered offshore, in other countries. At first, this may raise a few red flags as many people have their concerns about handing over financial information to unregulated foreign entities. Though this is an understandable concern, the reality is that little to none of the casinos available in DC are suspicious or untrustworthy. In fact, a simply internet search will show you that most every casino able to be accessed in DC is a trusted operator.
Not only that, but these operators keep up with the cutting edge technology that is constantly inundating the online casino scene. A testament to this is the wide range of casinos that are able to be accessed on mobile devices. No matter whether you are playing on a smartphone or tablet, the fact is that you will be hard-pressed to find one site that does not have some sort of mobile offering. So while the lack of regulation may make you feel like you are being left behind gamblers from other jurisdictions, nothing could be further from the truth.
For those who may not know, Washington DC is a fairly poor city and has plenty of infrastructural issues. This is why there is such a strong push to legalize online casinos, tax them, and use the money to help rebuild the city; after all, rebuilding is something that needs to take place. So far, most moves to legalize online casinos have not really moved far simply because DC falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal US government, and for those who are not familiar with US politics, the Federal Government often moves very slow on matters such as these. Still, there is hope being held out that DC will move to legalize online casinos sometime in the near future.
Legal Status of Brick and Mortar Casinos — Washington DC
Right now, there are on brick and mortar gambling establishments in the District of Columbia. First of all, the District of Columbia is so small and so densely populated that there isn’t much room for a casino to exist. Despite this, there has been talks on Capitol Hill about establishing a government-run brick and mortar casino sometime in the near future. Naturally, and as seen by the persistent lack of brick and mortar gambling options, these talks have not really gained much traction.
With Maryland and Virginia, which border DC to the North and South respectively, having some fairly lax casino laws, Washington DC is growing tired of seeing potential gambling revenue cross over borders. It is estimated that, each year, millions of dollars are spent on gambling in neighboring states. Those millions of dollars represent additional revenue streams that could help DC in more ways than one. Up to this point, however, very few people are willing to acknowledge the good that legalized gambling can do for the District; people would rather solely focus on the bad. It will be interesting to see in the future if casinos make an appearance in DC, but for now that seems unlikely due to the slow nature of politics in DC. Being the center of American politics you would think that legislation would move along quickly, but that is actually the opposite of what the reality of DC is.
Washington DC Online Casinos & Gambling FAQ
Will I be arrested by the Federal Government for having played at online casinos in DC?
No. While it is true that there are no laws making online casinos legal in Washington DC, there are also no laws that make it illegal. Like many other parts of the United States, online casinos in DC exist in a bit of a grey area. So long as the online casino itself is based offshore or out of the District, it is completely legal for you to play your favorite casino games at it.
Can I play online poker in DC?
Yes. There are plenty of online casinos that specialize in online poker. While most online casinos nowadays do well to offer some sort of poker play, there are other online casinos that are specifically known for their online poker offering. If you are strictly a poker player, it would behoove you to seek these sites out as they are much better for poker-only players.
Will my cashouts be questioned or seized?
Once again, because DC is where the US government is based so many people have a fear that they will wind up behind bars for having gambled at an online casino in Washington DC. The fact of the matter is that so long as you play at a reputable online casino you will have no issues when it comes to cashing out funds. In most cases, you can cash out 1 of 2 ways. The first option is to receive a check in the mail. This process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The other option is to receive a direct bank transfer, and this process can be executed in just a few hours.
Will online casinos become legalized soon?
This is tough to say. While many people would like to see this happen, passing such a broad-based, controversial piece of legislation is something that cannot happen overnight. So while we are holding out hope that it will be legalized, we are also not holding out breath.